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Even while iOS 16 has a stylish new lock screen, iPhone Security also has a tonne of new privacy and security measures that are meant to protect you and your iPhone data. Here are five brand-new features that will increase your sense of security and better guard your iPhone against hackers.
1. Rapid Security Response
Now, “fast security responses” may be automated in iOS, macOS, and iPadOS. With no reboot or user input necessary, Apple may now swiftly fix software (such as zero-days or other serious vulnerabilities) and distribute it to millions of devices.
This is available under Settings > General > Software Updates > Automatic Updates
Interestingly, Apple claims that “certain system files” can still update automatically in the background even with this feature disabled.
2. Lockdown Mode
Lockdown Mode, a feature that was first developed in response to spyware like NSO’s Pegasus, provides a high level of additional security to device owners who may be vulnerable to highly sophisticated cyberattacks, such as journalists, politicians, activists, and government officials. It works by restricting the most frequently used device features, such as messaging and online browsing, to make it much harder for malware to infiltrate.
Or, to quote Apple, “to reduce the attack surface that potentially could be exploited by highly targeted mercenary spyware,” certain apps, websites, and features are strictly restricted for security.
Most people will never be targeted by attacks of this nature, but if you want to try it out: Settings > Privacy & Security > Lockdown Mode and then Turn on Lockdown Mode.
For those who don’t know, Passkeys is a new authentication technique that was introduced with iOS 16 to replace the requirement for passwords. Based on the FIDO Standard, the feature was created in collaboration with Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
The setup is quite easy. Users who want to sign up using a website or app that makes use of Passkeys will still be required to create an account. A window will then open and prompt you to save a passkey. The user can choose their passkey and confirm using Face ID or Touch ID when they return to this website or app to sign in. No login information, such as a username or password, is required.
Although the availability of this feature is still limited, it is a useful tool for making it more difficult for attackers to access accounts.
4. Secure & Encrypt Notes
It’s important to note that the Notes app does have the option to lock or “secure” notes, even though this feature isn’t particularly new. End-to-end encryption is used to protect secure notes, which can only be viewed with a user-provided passphrase or by merely using Face ID or Touch ID to verify your identity.
There’s more than one way to secure a note, but the quickest way is to hold down on it from inside a folder, hit Lock Note.
Apple on how it encrypts secured notes:
“When a user secures a note, PBKDF2 and SHA256 are used to create a 16-byte key from the user’s passphrase. The encryption method used for the note and all of its attachments is AES with Galois/Counter Mode (AES-GCM).
In terms of cryptography, AES-GCM is a secure cypher that offers more data integrity and is a little bit faster than other encryption techniques like CBC. It’s important to remember that no system is completely secure, even though it could theoretically take billions of years to use current computing technology to break this type of encryption.
5. Safety Check
Safety Check, a new security feature in iOS 16, is another significant addition. This new tool, which is intended for people who are experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse, allows users to change any passcodes connected to their iPhone or Apple ID, verify with whom they’re sharing information, limit any Messages and FaceTime, reset system privacy permissions, and more.
Here’s how Apple describes Safety Check for iPhone:
Use Safety Check on your iPhone (running iOS 16 or later) to immediately stop sharing your information or to review and update sharing with specific people and apps if your personal safety is in danger.
Ultimately, if you ever need to completely block off access, this functionality can function almost like a panic button. Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Safety Check to access it.
Keeping our data and privacy secure is becoming an increasingly important part of how we use our devices. Even if none of the new iOS 16 security-focused features piques your interest, it’s imperative to consistently update to the most recent iOS version because it almost certainly adds crucial security patches and fixes bugs that will enhance your experience.
Also read: How to Change Apple ID in Few Simple Steps